Prices of most bank systems shares fell last week as investors moved money out of the technology sector.
The selloff was triggered by concerns some analysts expressed that third-quarter earnings of technology companies might fall short of expectations. A big decline in the dollar against other major currencies also put pressure on the equities and bond markets.
One company that met expectations was payment services firm National Data Corp., which reported earnings of $5 million for its first quarter of fiscal year 1996, a 62% increase over the year-earlier period.
Atlanta-based National Data's earnings per share for the three months ended Aug. 31 was 21 cents, versus 15 cents for the same period in 1994. The quarterly earnings report was in line with an analyst consensus published by First Call Corp.
Revenue for the latest fiscal quarter increased by 17% to $65.6 million, officials said. Revenues increased by 15% in its payments systems business, while sales of health care processing services rose 37%.
"We are pleased with these results," said Robert A. Yellowlees, chairman and chief executive officer. "They reflect sustained growth in quality earnings and cash flow. We continue to show double-digit revenue growth in core businesses, while productivity investments and the commitment of our employees are growing the bottom line an at an accelerated rate."
National Data's common stock closed Friday at $26.625 per share, down $1.125 for the week.
Two other heavyweights in the electronic payments business, First Data Corp. and First Financial Management Corp., received final approval last week from the Federal Trade Commission for their pending $7 billion merger.
Under the FTC's consent order, First Data must sell the marketing operations of its Moneygram unit or First Financial's Western Union money transfer business, although the company can retain the processing activities of both units.
Company officials said they expect the merger transaction to be completed by the end of October.
Hackensack, N.J.-based First Data's common stock closed at $60.75 a share Friday, down 50 cents for the week. Common stock of Atlanta-based First Financial closed at $95.25 a share Friday, up 37.5 cents for the week.
Payment terminal manufacturer Verifone Inc. said last week that it has signed a software licensing agreement with International Business Machines Corp.
Under the agreement, IBM will receive marketing rights to resell selected Verifone payment software applications designed to run on a variety of hardware platforms. The products will be sold under the IBM logo and will be called the Advanced Payment System.
Redwood City, Calif.-based Verifone's common stock closed at $29.50 per share Friday, down 25 cents for the week.